A Hanukkah miracle: Woman wakes up after 30 days in a coma

"We thank Ichilov's angels for not giving up on our mother. In the end, they found the solution to her problem and brought her back to life."

Zehava at Ichilov Hospital with Doctors  (photo credit: LIOR TZUR)
Zehava at Ichilov Hospital with Doctors
(photo credit: LIOR TZUR)
On Thursday, a Haredi woman named Zehava experienced a Hanukkah miracle when she woke up from a 30 day coma in Tel Aviv's Ichilov hospital.
Right before Rosh Hashana, the hospitalized woman underwent surgery at a hospital in the center of Israel as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage, after which she began to suffer from mild seizures, Arutz Sheva reported.
"Mom underwent surgery, which she originally recovered from. She started rehabilitation, but instead of progressing, her condition deteriorated," Zvia, Zehava's daughter, told Arutz Sheva.
"I was constantly told it was a natural phenomenon that generally follows the surgery, but we felt that something was wrong. She was falling and confused, and it got to a point where we were really scared. She even fell and broke her shoulder. We turned to all the doctors who were trying to figure out what was happening to her. No one could explain what was happening to her and why. She eventually collapsed, and did not react afterwards as the collapse was very severe... days passed and mom stayed in a coma. Based on Rabbi Firer's recommendation, we transferred her to Ichilov Hospital."
At Ichilov, Zehava was received by Director of Neurology Dr. Avi Gadot, who began a series of tests to discover what had happened to her.
"We couldn't understand what had happened to Zehava at first," Gadot told Arutz Sheva. "Tests illustrated that she has a substance from the valium family in her urine, but I could not understand why since she is not currently receiving any drug from the valium family.  I asked the family if they give her medication independently and of course they said no. We ran more and more tests, but unfortunately we did not find the source of problem."
"In between, there was a deterioration to the point of loss of breath and the need for respiration and anesthesia for about 10 days. At some point we realized that we could not progress without an MRI scan, but due to the pacemaker that the patient was dependent on, performing the MRI scan was extremely high risk. After discussion with all relevant parties and consultation with the hospital's risk management, an MRI was performed during which arrhythmias appeared and blood pressure dropped below the measured threshold. The test was carried out for the most part, but the patient was discharged before its completion due to a rapid deterioration in her condition. Afterwards, we had to perform CPR on her. To my delight, within a minute - probably one of the longest in my life - she returned to a stable condition. The MRI scan eventually showed that there was no explanation in the brain scan. And so, we went back to square one."
Gadot continued: "Twelve days passed since Zehava arrived in Ichilov, and the valium substance still appeared in her body. At this point, we realized that something was wrong. We gave her a drug that was meant to antagonize the valium type, and she reacted to it, albeit for a short time and not to a normal state, but there was definitely a change. We realized that for some reason the drug from the valium family (Prisium) that Zehava received does not exit the body, and therefore the patient did not wake up."
According to Arutz Sheva, Gadot consulted a toxin specialist in the hospital to discuss the matter: "I called Professor Miguel Geltstein, a toxin specialist here at the hospital with whom we work in complex cases of suspected poisoning. Miguel arrived at the ward, in less than 15 minutes as usual, and began to study the details of the case and promised to get back to me with an answer. Indeed, a few hours later, Miguel returned with a detail we did not know: in literature, he found an article about a case of a patient who tried to commit suicide with Prisium (the same drug that the patient received), and as a result, remained hospitalized for 30 days due to a mutation in the enzyme." 
"When we both read the article, it was pretty clear to us that this was the story. Maybe not the same enzyme but everything connected. We immediately began treatment with a drug that is supposed to improve the activity of the enzyme, ran a genetic test on goldfish for mutations in two enzymes we suspected, and even sent a sample to the laboratory at Myo Clinic in the US to test the level of prisium in the blood. Indeed, the answers proved what we suspected: that the level of the drug in the blood is above the upper threshold, and the genetic response showed that there is a mutation in the gene that is supposed to break down the Prisium, and therefore, it does not clear up."
In short, Zehava suffered from poisoning from the medication that she received at the end of her last surgery.
Zvia told Arutz Sheva how overjoyed she felt: "We are Haredi and believe that everything is from God, including a private miracle. Generally, it is unacceptable for us to expose private matters like this, but it is also a commandment to publicize this miracle, and maybe also to instill hope in others with similar stories. We felt like we were so close to seeing her spend her life in a nursing home.  We tried to stay optimistic because we didn't understand what happened to her,  We were already afraid that Mom as we know her was gone. And to think that we gave her medicine and did not understand that this is what almost killed her is inconceivable."
"We thank Ichilov's angels for not giving up on our mother. In the end, they found the solution to her problem and brought her back to life. We had a great miracle here in Ichilov. And this is the place to praise the hospital staff, the doctors, the nurses and the auxiliary force who all fought and did not give up. They also gave us a good feeling, and treated my mother with respect and dedication."
Gadot elaborated on the phenomenon to Arutz Sheva: "We know that this mutation exists in 3% of the population, but it is probably not enough on its own to cause what Zehava experienced. Many patients are treated with Prizium, which is an excellent and safe drug, and we have never encountered such a case. This is a rare case, but I am afraid that there are such cases that have happened to other patients and the diagnosis has not been found. It is very difficult to think that there are those who have not received the appropriate treatment and are staying in a nursing home or worse because this diagnosis is not recognized. "
"Fortunately, at Ichilov we have doctors like Professor Geltstein with an open mind and a lot of knowledge, a genetic institute that allows a very fast genetic diagnosis, and close cooperation between the immunological laboratory and the 'Myo Clinic' laboratory, and thus we managed to save Zehava's life."
Zehava continues the recovery process and is expected to be released for rehabilitation at the end of Hanukkah, according to Arutz Sheva.